How to maintain teak shower bench

raehelenOctober 27, 2013

Have bought my bench for our Master bath shower, but not ready to use it yet. In anticipation, though, am now wondering how I keep that beautiful teak colour/texture? I have a fair amount of outdoor teak furniture which has greyed with exposure. I don't want that look for my teak bench. (I also have a teak vanity, and will have teak wall cabinet and medicine cabinet).

I have tried to research on the net, but as with the outdoor furniture there is so much conflicting information. Oil/don't oil...I honestly have no idea what to do! Has anyone had teak in their shower for years? What do you do to keep it looking good?

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I was of the understanding that if you keep it oiled it will keep its color. Have you looked up ipe and the care for that wood?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 6:33PM
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The info available on the web is very contradictatory. For every site that tells you to oil, there is one that says NEVER oil! For outdoor furniture it's even worse. I had a teak dining table, which I would oil once in a while and sand with 000steel wool. That kept it looking like new. We have since passed that set on to our daughter, and it still looks great. However, for outdoors and I assume for the shower it is different, because you want teaks' natural oils to repel the water. Many sites say to never oil or sand. I can live with the 'silver patina' of weathered teak on my outdoor furniture (though it kills me when people say 'Oh I just thought it was 'old furniture'! LOL), but I want to keep the 'furniture' look of my shower bench if possible. Since the info is so conflicting, I am hoping that someone here has had teak in their shower for awhile, and can give me the 'inside scoop'! LOL

I did as you suggested, and looked up IPE but could only find reference to it as a decking material outdoors.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Sochi put an ipe shower decking in her master bathroom remodel. Remember that modern bathroom? Maybe if you post on the thread it will alert her to check it out. It is a year old now. She could help you with what worked for her. I think her brother in law made the decking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sochi's bathroom with ipe

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 7:59PM
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You could use something like Waterlox. It does well with teak. Do a sample first for a color check. If you don't have extra teak, then do the underside of the seat.

My typical choices are Cetol (for exterior) and Waterlox (for interior), they have always given me great performance. I'm doing Cetol on a mahogany balcony railing today.

The nice thing is that by it being indoors in a shower, your bench will not see much sunshine/UV. That's the main culprit with teak weathering to gray. Being in a wet versus dry environment can cause it to "weather", though at a much slower pace.

You could just use the bench in your shower and see how it performs. If it does discolor after a few years, you could scuff sand it and then treat it.

Proactive or reactive.

If you do use a finish on it, give it a light scuff sanding, then wipe it down with acetone to get all the dust off. When ready to apply the waterlox, give it another wipe down with acetone right before applying the waterlox.

Acetone will remove any teak oil that could interfere with adhesion.

When the bench is done and in the shower, just give the bench top a wipe down with a towel before exiting the shower. Get rid of any standing water, etc.

Pretty bench! Nice choice.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:45PM
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